I am what you might call an accidental gardener. I was bred, born, and raised on a farm, but I have an intense aversion to getting dirty. Mess with cows and horses? Any day! But gardening was something that my grandparents did. Canning? Pah. Why, when I could go to the store and buy a .25 can of corn? Baking and cooking were things that I have always enjoyed, and I’m going to blame them for my recent garden obsession.
It started with a windowsill box of herbs for cooking. I was sick and tired of paying five dollars or more for a tiny bunch of basil. Watching the tiny green sprouts of basil and garlic chives changed something in me. The next year I had a full out herb garden. The year after? Well, let’s just say that I didn’t do my research and jumped into vegetable gardening with abandon. There may or may not have been an overabundance of zucchini at my house. (Who knew five plants would produce that much, other than every other gardener in the history of the world? In fact I may or may not have had zucchini in some way shape or form two meals a day for about three months.) Faced with the bumper crop of herbs, fruits, and vegetables I had to figure out what to do with it all. A few frantic phone calls to my grandpa later and I was officially canning jams and jellies, making flavored oil, and learning how to best freeze pesto and dry squash. Just like that I fell into it. And now I can’t imagine my life without digging around in my garden despite the mess. I have learned a few tricks along the way, and I’m sure there are going to be many more to learn as I go.
This year is going to be different. This year I have a plan. I know that dish soap under my nails will keep dirt from getting in them. I know that I am going to be inundated with squash and zucchini and delicious tomatoes. I have researched and plotted. I have studied companion planting books and seed catalogs. I have literally spaced out my garden on graph paper according to how it should grow best.
And I am positive that I will continue to muck it up, and I will be overwhelmed and it will be under watered, and that my garden will grow regardless. That’s one of the best things about gardening. It puts it all in perspective. It is humbling and empowering at the same time.
So I invite you to join me farmer, gardener, or none of the above as I set out to grow some produce, learn to use it, and hopefully grow and learn as a person in the process. I hope my tales are entertaining, enlightening, and well, enlivening.
But enough of the tree hugging, earth loving bit. Let’s go grow something! (Like seed catalog debt. Since, you know, it is February and I can’t plant anything inside because my cats keep eating all my seedlings.) Or take cow pictures! Because who doesn’t love cow pictures?
See, isn’t that precious?
Or we could bake something:
So many things to do, so many posts to write! Until next time!